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ALBBOLLOX

Sci-Fi ish, no, not Sci-Fish.

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Neal Stephenson; early work Snow Crash and The Diamond Age nails the near future/cyberpunk thing, then Cryptonomicon starts the development of some historical SF, the Baroque Cycle is 17th century SF/Swashbuckling/Philosophick tale over 3000+ (hardback, slightly fewer in PB, but small text) pages, Anathem goes multi-dimensional, and his recent Reamde is like if a thriller was written by someone very very clever.

Jeff Noon writes the best Mancunian SF, probably, maybe the only, and I can highly recommend the very trippy, loosly connected trilogy of Vurt, Pollen and Nymphomation

Like Iain M Banks, but even more left wing is Ken Macleod, his Fall Revolution sequence, and then all his other stuff, is gripping and righteous.

Unsurprisingly, by definition even, there is always an almost infinite back catalogue of ace SF, but I likes a bit of John Brunner (Stand on Zanzibar), Norman Spinrad, Michael Moorcock, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, hell, even that old crypto-fascist Robert Heinlein can be a good read. Grass I just read last month, and t'was fascinating.

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I've just finished 'The Man in the High Castle' by Philip K Dick. More of a speculative fiction deal with it being set in an alternative history where the Nazis and Japanese won WWII. 'Flowers For Algernon' by Daniel Keyes was another great recent read that was more character based than jargon based.

I have to add my endorsement to Pierre's recommendation for Neal Stephenson, especially if you like William Gibson.

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It's one of those hailed as a classic but I am reading Hyperion right now by Dan Simmons, feel kinda ashamed it took me so long to get to it, really engaging and powerful reading.
Essentially a collection of short stories wrapped all together in a big "last stand" story, all very compelling.

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Phillip K Dick is one of my favourites.

A Scanner Darkly is a must!

 

I've just finished re-reading 'Armageddon in retrospect' by Kurt Vonnegut. It's proper good. A bunch of short stories tied together with the loose theme of war.

I remember when I bought it, the sales assistant in waterstones stood and talked to me about Vonnegut for a good 10 minutes and recommended some other books. Book shops are the best shops.

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Definately go for China Mieville. The Bas-lag novels (Perdido Street Station, The Scar and Iron Council) are good but personally I'd start with Embassytown or The City and The City.

 

Just finished 'Railsea'. Supposed to appeal to the teenage market but It certainly appealed to me.  

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Since I pretty much only read Philip Dick last year, due to the fact that he's fickin' magic, I've decided to read all of the foundation saga by Isaac Asimov this year. Present day is fuckin' shite, yo.

Edited by James Broonbreed

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